Having canceled its concert scheduled for last December, US thrash metal pioneer Anthrax will finally delight fans by playing its first Indonesian concert on Saturday at Pantai Karnaval, Ancol.
Through a press release, event organizer Blade Indonesia seems eager to assure fans that there will not be any cancellations this time, which seems to be an unfortunate, recent and recurring trend for international artists scheduled to play in Indonesia.
“It’s confirmed,” the organizers stated in the press release. “We will be holding the concert for thrash metal legends Anthrax along with special guest super-heavy metal [group] Hellyeah.”
The latter will perform the opening act and is notable for members from other bands, including Pantera and Mudvayne.
Formed in 1981 in New York City, Anthrax has grown into one of the biggest metal acts in the world. Along with Metallica, Slayer and Megadeth, the band is known as one of the “Big Four” bands whose popularity and influence in the heavy metal and rock scene reached a pinnacle in the late ’80s. Their legacy and fame — in particular, through Metallica — still endures and culminated with a Big 4 Metal Reunion tour through Europe in 2010.
Unlike the rest of the Big Four, Anthrax’s brand of heavy metal has flourished by integrating a variety of non-metal genres. Some of its biggest hits even incorporated rap, such as “I’m the Man” and “Bring the Noise,” a collaboration with political hip hop legends Public Enemy.
The band also dug deep into more fast-paced, abrasive sounds commonly associated with the hardcore scene, from which some Anthrax members came. Surf music is also among Anthrax’s major influences, as attested by its well-received cover of surf band The Chantays’ instrumental hit “Pipeline,” among others.
The band has gone through numerous lineup changes, with mainstay guitarists Scott Ian and Charlie Benante as its driving forces. Its current vocalist is Joey Belladonna, who was also the band’s singer at the peak of its popularity. Over the years, the band has also released records with other vocalists.
Anthrax has released 10 full-length albums and numerous singles and compilation records. Some of its earliest records are considered classic metal albums and are often found on “best of” lists. These albums include the catchy 1985 thrash metal record “Spreading the Disease,” its 1987 commercial breakthrough “Among the Living,” and 1990’s “Persistence of Time.” Songs from these albums are still featured at its concerts, to the delight of fans.
The changing musical landscape of the ’90s, which favored alternative rock and grunge, was less kind to the band. Anthrax managed to plod through intra-band drama and the departure of Belladonna after “Persistence of Time”, as well as other lineup changes that had band members coming and going. The band’s first post-Belladonna album “Sound of White Noise,” released in 1993, still managed to reach gold with over 500,000 records sold. But unlike the band’s earlier records, the later albums didn’t sell as well, and the band’s popularity declined. Anthrax was eventually dubbed a respected cult band.
The lackluster sales of 1995’s “Stomp 442” caused friction between Anthrax and its label, Elektra Records, which the band claimed did not promote the record vigorously enough. Anthrax and Elektra soon parted ways.
In 1998, “Volume 8: The Threat Is Real” suffered the same fate of mediocre sales and reviews, managing to reach an unimpressive No. 118 on the charts.
Anthrax’s supposed comeback record, “We’ve Come for You All” (2003) also did little to revive the band’s appeal, reaching only No. 122 on the Billboard charts.
The band’s latest release “Worship Music” was released last September. The album’s recording process was again plagued by drama. Dan Nelson was fired before its release, forcing the band to someone to record the vocal tracks. In stepped Belladonna.
The band’s confidence in him was due to the boost it got from the Big 4 Reunion, as well as Internet fans’ growing passion for classic metal.
The result is Anthrax’s best charting album, reaching No. 12 on the Billboard charts. It also received far more positive reviews than the three previous records, with Web site Metal-Rules.com dubbing it the best album of 2011.
Pantai Karnival, Ancol
Saturday, March 31
Ticketing info: 021 45777767